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MassDevelopment and City of Chicopee Announce Additional $100,000 for Uniroyal/Facemate Clean-Up

July 08, 2010

Kelsey Abbruzzese, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2086
Tom Haberlin, City of Chicopee, 413-594-1486

MassDevelopment, through its Brownfields Redevelopment Fund, has awarded an additional $100,000 to assess contamination levels at the former Uniroyal Tire and Facemate properties for a total of $200,000 in funding. The sites have been designated a Priority Project by MassDevelopment, meaning a maximum brownfields award of up to $2 million could be available to remediate and prepare the site for development.

"Over the years, the City of Chicopee has made several investments assessing and cleaning up the Uniroyal Tire and Facemate properties," MassDevelopment President and CEO Robert L. Culver said. "That tenacity has resulted in additional funds from the Brownfields Redevelopment Fund and a continuous forward progression of this project. The Agency is pleased with its continuing partnership with Chicopee officials in making the Pioneer Valley more attractive for economic development."

The Priority Project Program targets sites that municipalities have prioritized for redevelopment, and where reuse would be viable except for the obstacle of environmental contamination. The City of Chicopee has made redeveloping the site, which will become the backbone of the City's Chicopee Falls neighborhood, a top economic development priority. Chicopee has performed periodic environmental assessment and cleanup work over the years, but the Priority Project designation and funding will allow for a comprehensive environmental site and building assessment. Remediation and demolition will then prepare the site for mixed-use redevelopment.

"The City is very pleased to receive this additional allocation of funding to continue the steady progress the City and MassDevelopment have been making on cleaning up this site," said Chicopee Mayor Michael Bissonnette. "Before real action can commence to demolish buildings, we need to determine the full extent of hazardous materials and waste both above and below ground. These funds will take us a long way along the path of determining what is below the surface on the Facemate portion of the site, and whether a responsible party can be identified to help fund the clean up effort to lessen any undo burden on taxpayers."

MassDevelopment, the state's finance and development authority, works with businesses, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2009, MassDevelopment financed or managed 229 projects statewide representing the investment of nearly $1.2 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are supporting the creation of 1,488 new housing units and 8,232 jobs: 3,362 permanent and 4,870 construction-related.